‘Confidence and Supply money is covering Tory cuts’ – Maskey
Sinn Fein’s Anti-Poverty spokesperson Alex Maskey MLA has hit out at the DUP after obtaining evidence that funding to tackle severe deprivation which was supposed to be 'additional' is instead covering budget cuts.
£20m was provided as part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement which stated that any financial support would be “additional”. The agriculture department received £1.8m for its Tackling Rural Poverty and Social Isolation (TRPSI) scheme.
Having received confirmation from the department that the TRPSI budget hasn't been increased, Alex Maskey said:
“In 2017/18 the budget for TRPSI was £4m.
“An additional £1.8m from the Confidence and Supply Agreement was supposed to be allocated this year, bringing the budget to £5.8m.
“However the budget for TRPSI in 2018/19 is £4m, the same as last year. This proves that the Confidence and Supply money isn’t additional at all. Instead it is covering cuts from the Tory government still wedded to austerity, now supported by the DUP.
“I have also written to the Departments of Education and Health to check whether the money they received to tackle severe deprivation is additional or compensating for cuts.”